Conservative field

From Glossary of Meteorology



conservative field

A field for which the work done in moving an isolated particle of unit mass around a closed path is zero:
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where F is the force acting on the particle and dr is an infinitesimal vector displacement along the path.

For such a field the work done in moving a particle between any two points is independent of the path so that a potential Φ exists:
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where is the del operator.
See irrotational.